2018-07-21 NSSEM - Weekend Seminar: The Study of the Self-Logos
- Publication date
- philosophy, plato, NSSEM, pg1, parmenides, elements-of-theology, commentary-on-the-parmenides, timaeus
Pierre leads about 20 of us from the Noetic Society through a great weekend seminar on the Logos of the Self.
- This page will not be indexed in our main collection and revealed to the public for at least 6 months after the date of the seminar, so as to give paying (or scholarship) seminar participants a thank you for their patronage. Please do not give the URL of this page to anyone else until it is fully published to the public. Thank you.
- Recorded in stereo. Pierre is on the Left channel, while the participants are on the Right channel. A quality set of closed over-the-ear headphones or in-ear earbuds helps.
Materials Posted So Far
- Original seminar email announcement (PDF)
- 2-page excerpt from Pierre's upcoming book, Return of the Gods (PDF)
- All 4 formal session videos (MPEG4 full-size & OGG VIDEO reduced-size)
- Notes on the main four video sessions (below)
- Images of all charts, left-hand and right-hand sides (JPEG)
- Group picture (JPEG)
Materials Yet to Be Posted
- Candid photos of Pierre and the group (JPEG)
- 1 bonus audio recording of Pierre chatting with us informally between sessions (OGG VORBIS and VBR MP3)
Session 1: Saturday morning 9-11
- The Mystery: Revealing the Nature of Self
- Audio patched in from Regina's recorder in a few places where mine dropped out. Otherwise, everything is there.
- L1-4, R1-2
- The Study of the Self Logos
- Pierre's dream from his excerpt of the Return of the Gods
- The Seminar Announcement
- Reading from the study of the Self Logos
- Brilliant Light of Being (here abbrev.: 'BLoB'), aka 'Divine Luminosity' (herein abbrev. 'DL'), aka 'the Idea of the Good', etc..
- Providential dreams
- The power of ignorance
- You can't have a problem that doesn't mimick the BLoB/awake experience
- "Nancy's handout": 2 page excerpt from The Return of the Gods (abbrev. ' RotG'), with Pierre's dream experience years ago. (Copyrighted completely, all rights reserved, because RotG has yet to be published)
- APPA award to Pierre for Lifetime Achievement
- Back to Pierre's (RotG) dream: What kind of knowing is this? Describing the BLoB.
- The Power of Imagination
- Qualities of the experience of the BLoB
- The language (key terms) of metaphysics
- There is a 'Likeness' amongst all of those terms. Therefore likeness is central to all metaphysics
- 'Divine' and 'Eternal': two more terms added to the list of qualities of the BLoB
- These are all not ideas, but aspects
- 'Self' in the Iliad of Homer
- Reading the 2nd paragraph of the seminar announcement (with amendments)
- The basic analogy we will be exploring:Logos:Self :: Ousia and its Activity : Self
- Inherent in the DL is the presence of the Logos
- The what are the implications for the Logos?
- As DL/BLoB —> has a transformative effect on the self,so the Pathologos —> leaves an idea of the Self which is 'sick'
- One of the uses of the Logos can uncover the falseness of the Pathologos
Session 2: Saturday afternoon 2-4
- Let's Create a Universe
- all good (i think)
- L5-6, R3-4
- Proclus (Taylor): Elements Of Theology ('EoT'), Propositions 18, 145, 148
- Proclus (Morrow/Dillon): 1016-18, hypothesis that Providence exists (pp 365-7)
- The Study of the Logos (seminar announcement)
- thanks to Rod Wallbank years ago for gathering Thomas Taylor before Prometheus Trust
- Let's create a universe. What would you need?
- a model
- For every one of these, there is a Greek god
- Mystical/metaphysical versions of each god
- Encosmic gods
- The same gods can fit into different orders other than just the encosmic ones, e.g., the intelligible gods
- Which puts us into books 6 and 7 of Proclus' Theology of Plato
- A hierarchical series of gods (at which, among the encosmic gods, we are at the bottom)
- What does it mean for each of these to come in triads, especially when appearing in Greek theology and in metaphysics?
- That question puts us into Proclus' "Elements of Theology" (Pierre holds up the Dodds translation but there is also a Thomas Taylor translation and Juan and Maria Balboa are working on a translation currently as well.)
- Prop 18 read: triads and their necessity
- Prop 145 read: threefold origin of every divine origin
- The dynamics of the Mean Analogy (diagram L5)
- Prop 148 read (in entirety): This is really a definition of a mean analogy!
- Thus all those dynamics are going on in all the triads of the gods (back in diagram R3)
- If we study these triads, we can see what is going on internally with everything, and see the dynamics of reality
- Moderns are interested only in correlations (to get power over pragmatics)
- The Greeks doing exactly the opposite: CAUSES, and FUNCTIONS, and symbolizing these
- "Zeus" as the name that represents a particular set of functions and relations in nature or Kosmos
- Reading from the handout again, "The Study of the Self Logos"
- These principles will be the key language in Plato's dialogue, "Parmenides"
- Self and Logos
- All this is to show that there are divine forces in the natural world
- A certain kind of reasoning
- True for any universe: This is a metaphysical model for the conditions for creation in any universe
- thus wherever/wherever this is going on (and by whom), they'll be using the same thinking
- This kind of thinking could create the conditions for one's own growth
- The role of "Likeness": we can create an analogy (diagram R4)
- Does "greater" have any reality in itself? Or does it only exist to describe differences?
- Is "Likeness" also suspect for the same reason – or not?
- An example analogy so that we can see the role of Likeness emerge, and understand Prop 148
- Diotima:Socrates as Socrates:Agathon (diagram L6)
- hierarchy: Is one of these relationships higher than the other?
- now using D:S::S:A to understand Prop 148 of Proclus' Elements of Theology
- Diotima as highest term, communicating a unity to the entire order, etc
- Secondly, the mean term (Socrates), links the whole together, implants a common character in all
- (that common character being, 'philosopher')
- Limiting/third term (Agathon): without him there is no likeness
- Diotima:Socrates as Socrates:Agathon (diagram L6)
- This is the Logos
- And you can see there can be the personification of ideas into figures in history
- Josh: What is the common character that the mean term bestows?
Session 3: Saturday evening 7-9
- A Dialectical Understanding of the Relationship Between the Logos and Providence
- A/C hum through much still until battery was charged
- L7-9, R5-6
- Proclus: Commentary on the Parmenides (Dillon/Morrow). Example dialectic on Providence, page 365-7 (sections 1016-1018)
- Logos and Providence (diagram R5)
- If things are similar then a likeness and unlikeness should account for the subject
- We use Proclus' example dialectic on Providence as a model (Morrow/Dillon p365) then use it as a model and try to do the same for the Logos
- (break to try to do this..)
- Which of these two (Providence, Logos) presupposes the other?
- We guess that Providence supposes Logos (and intelligibiity). But why?
- We use the specific answers we just got in the exercise above to answer in more specific ways:
- Can we order these then in a hierarchy? (Yes, Logos higher than Providence)
- diagram R6: conclusions, what we can do with these answers
- But Logos has a providential aspect
- So they need each other. What would a Kosmos look like with Logos but not Providence? Or visa versa?
- So both are needed and though one is stronger than the other, they are intertwined and work together. What do we call this?
Session 4: Sunday morning 10-12
- Creating Divinely Following the Timaeus
- There is a gap in sound for a few seconds around 30:00. Not much said, just that Likeness is therefore the principle for all Creation
- L10,11 ; R7,8
- Opening question: What must be the conditions necessary for any "creation"? Can we use the Timaeus as a model for any "creation"? Are all "makings" creative? If not, then what kinds of making can ignore the conditions for "creation"?
- Consider: You are planning some task or work that you desire to complete. So are you entering into a creative effort?
- What is Zeus's process? (let's look at Timaeus 29e)
- If the conditions are different from the principles, then you need:
- 1: creative process
- 2: conditions
- Reading 29e-30-d
- (Pierre gives us time to read this section and consider)
- [29e] … He was good, and in him that is good no envy ariseth ever concerning anything; and being devoid of envy He desired that all should be, so far as possible, like unto Himself. This principle, then, we shall be wholly right in accepting from men of wisdom as being above all the supreme originating principle of Becoming and the Cosmos.
- [30a] For God desired that, so far as possible, all things should be good and nothing evil; wherefore, when He took over all that was visible, seeing that it was not in a state of rest but in a state of discordant and disorderly motion, He brought it into order out of disorder, deeming that the former state is in all ways better than the latter. For Him who is most good it neither was nor is permissible to perform any action save what is most fair. As He reflected, therefore, He perceived that of such creatures as are by nature visible,
- [30b] none that is irrational will be fairer, comparing wholes with wholes, than the rational; and further, that reason cannot possibly belong to any apart from Soul. So because of this reflection He constructed reason within soul and soul within body as He fashioned the All, that so the work He was executing might be of its nature most fair and most good. Thus, then, in accordance with the likely account, we must declare that this Cosmos has verily come into existence as a Living Creature endowed with soul and reason owing to the providence of God.
- [30c] This being established, we must declare that which comes next in order. In the semblance of which of the living Creatures did the Constructor of the cosmos construct it? We shall not deign to accept any of those which belong by nature to the category of “parts”; for nothing that resembles the imperfect would ever become fair. But we shall affirm that the Cosmos, more than aught else, resembles most closely that Living Creature of which all other living creatures, severally and generically, are portions. For that Living Creature embraces and contains within itself all the intelligible Living Creatures, just as this Universe contains us and all the other visible living creatures
- [30d] that have been fashioned. For since God desired to make it resemble most closely that intelligible Creature which is fairest of all and in all ways most perfect, He constructed it as a Living Creature, one and visible, containing within itself all the living creatures which are by nature akin to itself.
- R8: Zeus
- What is the Role of Mind in (this kind of) Creation?
- What is necessary for creation?
- No envy
- The list:
- 1. Desire for all to be like himself
- 2. All good /order/disorder
- 3. Reasoning for the better
- 4. All actions beautiful. Reasoning reflection
- 5. Beauty with mind greater
- 6. Mind -> Soul - Body because more beautiful
- 7. Project: brought into existence - Nous - Providence
- Necessary Conditions
- Reading Timaeus 27c to 28b
- [27c] [Timaeus]:Nay, as to that, Socrates, all men who possess even a small share of good sense call upon God always at the outset of every undertaking, be it small or great; we therefore who are purposing to deliver a discourse concerning the Universe, how it was created or haply is uncreate, must needs invoke Gods and Goddesses (if so be that we are not utterly demented), praying that all we say may be approved by them in the first place, and secondly by ourselves. Grant, then, that we have thus duly invoked the deities;
- [27d] ourselves we must also invoke so to proceed, that you may most easily learn and I may most clearly expound my views regarding the subject before us.Now first of all we must, in my judgement, make the following distinction. What is that which is Existent always
- [28a] and has no Becoming? And what is that which is Becoming always and never is Existent? Now the one of these is apprehensible by thought with the aid of reasoning, since it is ever uniformly existent; whereas the other is an object of opinion with the aid of unreasoning sensation, since it becomes and perishes and is never really existent. Again, everything which becomes must of necessity become owing to some Cause; for without a cause it is impossible for anything to attain becoming. But when the artificer of any object, in forming its shape and quality, keeps his gaze fixed on that which is uniform, using a model of this kind, that object, executed in this way, must of necessity
- [28b] be beautiful; but whenever he gazes at that which has come into existence and uses a created model, the object thus executed is not beautiful. Now the whole Heaven, or Cosmos, or if there is any other name which it specially prefers, by that let us call it,—so, be its name what it may, we must first investigate concerning it that primary question which has to be investigated at the outset in every case,—namely, whether it has existed always, having no beginning of generation, or whether it has come into existence, having begun from some beginning.
- Creating on the basis of the eternal vs on the basis only of something already created (physical)
- diagram L11: Human Relations (Phaedrus): You need some ideal that you both are willing to accept.
- Modelling after Apollo: The relationship becomes philosophical
- Triad (as we talked about yesterday): Hermes, Aphrodite, Apollo
- Exercise: Can we (and how can we) use the causes/conditions (in R8) to create a philosophical relationship (in L11)?
- Reading again from the end of the seminar desc
- JulieH's question about the relationship between God and The Self
- Barbara' s question
Pierre, Nancy, Marie, Don, Oralia, Bradley, Josh, Belinda, Kristin, David, Steve, Nastasja, Bill, Ronda, Kevin, JulieH, Stanley, Barbara, JeffS, Sayon, Regina, Sarah
- 2018-07-26 07:26:51
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